Clothes Moths

There are two species of clothes moths, the Webbing and the Case-Making Clothes Moths, which are found world-wide, eating our natural-fiber fabrics. Both are plain-looking, gray or buff-colored moths, up to ½” long. Their larvae eat only natural fibers, especially anything which contains wood or hair. Each female moth can lay about 40-50 eggs and a life cycle may be completed in about 1-4 months depending on the temperature, moisture, and food available. Larvae of Case-Making Clothes Moths spin a silken tube that they use as a potable shelter. They often tend to feed from the under side of the fabric. Because they are very small, plain-colored, and tend to stay hidden, we often first notice them via “holes” in some fabric (usually an expensive suit, sweater, or tapestry) made of natural wood or other mostly organic fibers.  The most important steps in controlling these moths are thorough surveillance and correct ID, followed by treatment with residual insecticide when necessary and practical. Non-chemical control measures should be tried first, such as vacuuming infested cloth, washing or dry cleaning of infested items. Sealing susceptible cloth items in plastic containers, cedar chests, or bags; and possibly sealing moth flakes or balls in with them, can help keep the moths and similar pests out in future.  Newly marketed traps with pheromones specific for clothes moths can help in the survey and elimination of a current population of these moths, and can be a very good tool for future monitoring. Let Pro Tech help with all your pest control needs.